United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
CHARLES W. REED, No. 88172, Plaintiff,
CORE CIVIC, et al., Defendants.
A. Trauger United States District Judge
Charles W. Reed, an inmate of the Metro-Davidson County
Detention Facility in Nashville, Tennessee, filed this
pro se, in forma pauperis action under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against Core Civic/M.D.C.D.F., Warden T. Thomsa,
Assistant Warden J. Rychen, Assistant Warden J. Corlew, Chief
Security F. Perry, and Chief Unit Manager D. King, alleging
violations of the Plaintiffs' civil rights. (Docket No.
Plaintiff's complaint is before the Court for an initial
review pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and
PLRA Screening Standard
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the court must dismiss any
portion of a civil complaint filed in forma pauperis
that fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted,
is frivolous, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who
is immune from such relief. Section 1915A similarly requires
initial review of any “complaint in a civil action in
which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity, ”
id. § 1915A(a), and summary dismissal of the
complaint on the same grounds as those articulated in §
1915(e)(2)(B). Id. § 1915A(b).
Sixth Circuit has confirmed that the dismissal standard
articulated by the Supreme Court in Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), and Bell Atlantic Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), “governs
dismissals for failure to state a claim under those statutes
because the relevant statutory language tracks the language
in Rule 12(b)(6).” Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d
468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010). Thus, to survive scrutiny on
initial review, “a complaint must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 570). “A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “[A] district court
must (1) view the complaint in the light most favorable to
the plaintiff and (2) take all well-pleaded factual
allegations as true.” Tackett v. M & G
Polymers, USA, LLC, 561F.3d 478, 488 (6th Cir. 2009)
(citing Gunasekera v. Irwin, 551 F.3d 461, 466 (6th
Cir. 2009) (citations omitted)).
pro se pleadings are to be held to a less stringent
standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, Haines
v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Jourdan v.
Jabe, 951 F.2d 108, 110 (6th Cir. 1991), the courts'
“duty to be ‘less stringent' with pro
se complaints does not require us to conjure up
[unpleaded] allegations.” McDonald v. Hall,
610 F.2d 16, 19 (1st Cir. 1979) (citation omitted).
Section 1983 Standard
Plaintiff brings his claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Title 42 U.S.C. § 1983 creates a cause of action
against any person who, acting under color of state law,
abridges “rights, privileges, or immunities secured by
the Constitution and laws . . . .” To state a claim
under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege and show two
elements: (1) that he was deprived of a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States; and (2) that the
deprivation was caused by a person acting under color of
state law. Tahfs v. Proctor, 316 F.3d 584, 590
(6th Cir. 2003); 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
complaint alleges that, while incarcerated at the
Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility, the plaintiff began
attending Islamic services in 1995. During those services,
the restroom doors were never locked. At some point, the
plaintiff obtained permission from the chaplain to lead the
services. After the plaintiff began leading the Islamic
services, the administration implemented a new policy that
all restroom doors must be locked during “church pill
called program and mass movement.” (Docket No. 1 at p.
5). The plaintiff believes that this policy violates his
federal constitutional rights. (Id.)
complaint alleges that the plaintiff's federal rights are
being violated because the facility restrooms are locked
during Islamic worship services. (Docket No. 1 at p. 5). He
cites the “Fourteenth Amendment Discrimination Title VI
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Religious” as the
basis for his complaint. (Id.)
the plaintiff alleges that he has been discriminated against,
he does not have a valid Equal Protection claim against any
defendant. The Fourteenth Amendment provides, in pertinent
part, that “[n]o State shall ... deny to any person
within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the
laws.” U.S. Const., amend. XIV, § 1. Most Equal
Protection claims “allege that a state actor
intentionally discriminated against the plaintiff because of
membership in a protected class.” Henryv.
Metro. Sewer Dist., 922 F.2d 332, 341 (6th Cir.
1990)(internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
Although the complaint alleges that plaintiff has been
discriminated against by the defendants because of his
religion (Islam), he does not identify any specific inmate of
a different religion who was treated differently under the
same circumstances. The plaintiff attached the grievances he
submitted concerning his complaints about the restroom doors
being locked during Islamic services. (Docket No. 1 at pp.
7-9). In responding to and denying the plaintiff's
grievance regarding the locked restrooms, Chief Security F.
Perry states: “Captain Hawkins is following directives
as given to him by the Administration here at Metro. The
restrooms are to be locked during ...